But releasing water to Tamil Nadu may hit works
The city need not fear water scarcity till at least the end of April, according to Gauvrav Gupta, chairperson of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). “However, we hope that there will be rainfall, which will improve storage and recharge the groundwater,” he said.
He was talking to reporters here Wednesday, when the BWSSB took the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) councillors and Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy to the Torekadinahalli (T.K. Halli) pump house.
Mr. Gupta said that T.K. Halli gets water directly from Krishna Raja Sagar Dam. Around 500 million litres a day (MLD) can be pumped to the city from here though the BWSSB is currently pumping only 200 MLD.
As for Thippegondanahalli (T.G. Halli), the storage capacity there had come down so much the BWSSB was not able to draw even 30 MLD from there. Its storage had reached perilously low levels last November.
“Compared to March last year, the city is getting 200 MLD extra from the Cauvery Fourth Stage Second Phase project. With this, we will be able to meet the water needs till April end. The city needs around 1.5 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) water a month,” he said.
The TN factor
However, a senior official, on condition of anonymity, said with the State being directed to release more water to Tamil Nadu, the water scarcity problem may be severe this summer.
Asked about the illegal connections, Mr. Gupta said that with several people drawing water without meters, the regular water supply was being affected. The BWSSB runs up a whopping Rs. 400 crore annually in power bills to pump water from the reservoirs to the city. Urging people to get their connections metered, he said the BWSSB could get revenue only from the legal and metered connections.
The BWSSB had drawn up a project to provide water supply to the 110 villages added to BBMP limits. The Rs. 2,023 crore proposal is pending government approval.
“The Centre asked us to take into account the expected population growth in these areas based on 2011 census data. If the population crosses 30 lakh, we will need 10 tmcft just for these areas. The government has directed us to first identify water sources.” In this regard, the BWSSB had sent proposals to the State government to divert water from the Sharavati and Netravati. “A discussion on it will be scheduled soon,” he added.
Later, Mayor Murthy directed Mr. Gupta to ensure that BWSSB officials attend the BBMP’s monthly council meetings. He also directed the councillors to submit their water-related problems in writing to the BWSSB.
“The BBMP has convened a special meeting to discuss water problems on February 23 and the BWSSB officials will be able to respond to the problems of the councillors then,” he added.